By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday honoured the best Secondary School Principal and best Teacher in Nigeria, urging them not to relent in their efforts to educate the nation.
The Principal, Mr. Puis from Government Senior College, Epe and the Teacher, Mrs Agnes Ilunishakin from Oriwu Model College, Ikorodu are both from Lagos State.
Their recognition came on the heels of World Teachers’ Day celebration.
Briefing Journalists, Hon. Babajimi Benson from Lagos State who sponsored the motion for their recognition said that the educationists were selected by the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
In the motion earlier, the lawmaker noted that despite their contributions to the nations education sector, teachers in Nigeria remained the less paid.
He said: “The House notes that this year’s World Teachers’ Day (WTD) or International Teachers’ Day was celebrated on October 5, 2019, with the theme – “Young Teachers: The future of the Profession and was aimed at proffering ideas to attract and keep young persons in the profession;
“Aware that the celebration of teachers followed the United Nation’s Declaration in 1994 for the recognition of the World Teachers Day (WTD) or International Teachers Day to celebrate teachers around the World for their efforts towards shaping the minds of several children and the society at large even though they remain unsung heroes and heroines whose contributions to the society are underappreciated;
“Also aware that the United Nation’s in developing the thematic areas of concentration for the Sustainable Development Goal 4 Quality Education, recognizes the role of teachers as being key to the achievement of its Education by 2030 Agenda;
“Observes that the Federal Government, in marking the day, instituted the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award to show appreciation for the immense contributions of teachers to nation-building;
“Worried that despite the contributions of Teachers to societal development, teachers in Nigeria are overworked and remain among the worst paid in the world, with poor welfare package and teaching environment;
“Also worried that currently none of the E9 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan) other than Nigeria, allocates less than 20 per cent of its annual budget to education”.
Also commending the teachers, some lawmakers which included the Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and Hon. Nkiru Onyejiocha asked them to remain steadfast.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila thanked the Teachers for their efforts and commitments.
He said: “We thank them for your commitment to education, your students. You are higher achievers. Teaching is the noblest of all profession. Continue with what you are doing. We wish you the best. We will make sure that the prayer of the motion which is enhancing the budget is education is assured.”
Adopting the motion, the House urged the urged the Federal Government to improve on the welfare and support schemes for teachers, especially in the area of training, using the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) approach in addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools in order to improve competitiveness in science and technology development.
It also urged the government to employ more Teachers to address the issue of inadequate staffing and low productivity within the education sector and also increase budgetary allocation to the Education sector in the 2020 appropriation bill so as to equip teachers with the requisite training and adequate facilities in the schools.
The House mandated its Committees on Tertiary Education and Services and Basic Education and Service to ensure implementation.